I’d planned to write a blog about Max Clifford shooting himself in the foot over Jimmy Savile. I had the idea before I’d seen anyone else covering this but before I finished putting my piece together The Guardian run a story headlined: Jimmy Savile scandal: ‘celebrity hedonism no excuse for child abuse’ and straplined, ‘Child protection expert criticises Max Clifford for saying celebrities didn’t ask for birth certificates’. Paul Roffey may not say things the way I’d have formulated them but the points are basic and unfortunately still need laying out in this way because there are so many twerps around who can’t grasp the key issues.
There is obviously much greater awareness of paedophilia today but in the 1960s everyone knew about the age of consent and people were regularly tried for breaking the law over it. The fact that someone may have looked 16 or 21 if they were male may be mitigation but it is no defence. (Roffey tells The Guardian)
This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need stating. Nonetheless scumbags like Max Clifford make it necessary to do so since their arrant bullshit on the subject shouldn’t pass unchallenged. The rich and famous remain arrogant enough to think they can defend the indefensible – but we won’t let them get away with it!
Moving on, when I was sixteen in the late-seventies I had a female friend of the same age who a thirty-something photographer persuaded to pose naked. A twenty-something guy we both knew who worked in a punk record shop thought my friend was being exploited, so he told the photographer my friend was only 15. In a panic the thirty-something perv destroyed the prints and negatives he’d made of my friend (who’d actually turned sixteen a week so so before she posed nude for him). The photographer knew he’d get done if he was caught with indecent images of a 15 year-old and he’d asked my friend if she was sixteen, but our older acquaintance was more convincing when he falsely claimed she’d lied. The record shop assistant clearly had a better understanding of the nature of consent than the law – where there is a massive inequality in power relations there cannot be consent.
Around the same time various members of my male peer group (including me) were offered a hundred quid if we’d submit to being bum-fucked on camera. £100 was a lot of dosh to us back then and we were even told that our faces wouldn’t be on the films, only our backsides. We concluded that rather than being for our benefit this was to protect the pornographers making the movies – if we couldn’t be identified then no one would be able to prove that we were beneath the age of consent for gay sex in the UK at that time (as we were). In the late-seventies I found myself constantly proposition by older men as I wondered around London – and I was not only under the age of consent for gay sex, I also looked considerably younger than my actual age. The saddos hitting on me knew having sex with me wouldn’t be legal – but they didn’t care coz they thought they could get away with it. It was more usually men who I had to tell to fuck off as they harassed me, but I’d get just as pissed off with women who did it (and the oldest person to offer me money for sex as I came out of a punk concert was a female in her seventies – the men who did this were more usually in their thirties of forties).
The punk scene was full paedophiles and those attempting to exploit paedophilia for commercial gain. The Guardian may now be carrying on the whole relatively sensible articles about Jimmy Savile, but as recently as 10 April 2010 Alex Needham wrote in a laudatory blog about the punk poser Malcolm McLaren: “After managing the band Bow Wow Wow (and attempting to bring paedophilia into the mainstream via a magazine called Chicken), McLaren decided to make records himself. ” This is in an article with the strap-line: “The punk impressario’s stunts shook up pop music for ever. Here are some of the best.” Doh!
Not that The Guardian should be singled out for criticism on this score. The British tabloid press has way more to answer for since it played a role in turning Savile into an untouchable celebrity. Right-wing hack Garry Bushell has written for a range of the red tops, as well as involving himself with some of the more unsavory elements of the punk rock scene, and fronting his own really bad dumbcore band The Gonads. Bushell may or may not claim the following lyrics from his song I Lost My Love To A UK Sub are a joke, but nonetheless they ought to provide all the tabloids for whom he’s written with some food for thought:
My first love was a virgin only 13 years old/Till Charlie Harper grabbed on his pension day I’m told/He showered her with badges/He bought her lots of booze/And then showed her his warhead/Now don’t you think that’s crude?/He got her in a stranglehold/He got her in the club/Before I bleedin’ knew it I lost my love to a UK Sub…
Charlie Harper was the rather unlikely middle-aged front man to the punk band The UK Subs, and he had a reputation for bedding underage girls. Whether Harper’s unsavory reputation was deserved or not I’ve no idea, but when I hung around the punk scene in London in the late-1970s, Harper was widely perceived to be a dirty old man with a penchant for young girls. Bushell is playing off and celebrating Harper’s reputation for bedding jailbait, as is obvious from the large number of UK Subs song titles worked into his lyric. Towards the end of the song Bushell returns to the subject of grooming underage girls that is first addressed in the words quoted above (viz badges and booze): “Tank her up with vodka till the silly cow is sick/Take her in a stranglehold/Take her out the pub/Get back to your place and you’ll never lose your love to a UK Sub…” And for the benefit of those not familiar with all of the UK slang in the song ‘in the club’ (first verse) means pregnant, so this lyric is a very blatant paean to kiddie fiddling.
I’ll end by noting that while child abuse imagery could be found in various parts of the punk scene of the 1970s, it seemed to have the strongest appeal to those with far-Right leanings. Neo-Nazi punk moron Ian Stuart recorded a song on this subject called Jailbait with his band Skrewdriver in 1977:
Normal hair looks so good / Temptation think I should? / Jailbait, jailbait, jailbait / No one knows you’re sneaking out / Your old man would scream and shout / Jailbait, jailbait, jailbait / Just because you’re just fifteen / They can’t guess the things you’ve seen / Jailbait, jailbait, jailbait / They don’t want you getting pissed / Enjoying things that they have missed / Jailbait, jailbait, jailbait.
Again note the alcohol reference (‘getting pissed’) and the role this plays in grooming underage girls (and also boys in the case of many of those in the Skrewdriver entourage – such as fascist bonehead Nicky Crane who also wrote bad lyrics and drew crap record covers for the group). On a live recording of Skrewdriver performing Jailbat at The Marquee in London on 4 June 1977, Ian Stuart introduces the song by saying” “Right we’re going to do one about little girls….” in a leering voice, just in case anyone misses the fact that he fancies himself as a perv.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!